This Over-the-Top Horror Flick is Chocked Full of Memorable Visuals and Cultural Love- Suzanna Buried Alive (2018) Review- Netflix Original
"Suzanna: Bernapas Dalam Kubur (Buried Alive)" is a Netflix original horror movie, of the foreign kind.
If you don't like subtitles, then automatically this film is not for you (unless you are fluent in Indonesian), so keep scrolling through the Netflix originals right past this one. I, personally, will even watch English films with subtitles on, because there's a lot you can miss in dialogue, unless you are giving the movie your undivided attention with no other sound interruptions around you.
What's it about?
Satria and Suzanna are a loving couple who have been trying to have a baby for 5 years. When they are finally blessed with Suzanna's pregnancy, Satria is simultaneously dealing with a possible strike at the factory where he works- as the employees complain of need for better pay. When Satria leaves on a work trip, unbeknownst to him, he leaves his newly pregnant wife to be robbed and murdered by his angry, vengeful employees. When they murder Suzanna and- in a panic- bury her in the backyard, she becomes what the movie refers to as sundel bolong- the ghost of a pregnant woman who walks Earth with a murderous taste for the revenge of not only her death, but the death of her unborn child inside her.
This movie follows the typical ghost with "unfinished business" and revenge plot tropes, with some silly twists and story plots along the way. This does make the entire movie pretty predictable from early on, but if you stick along for the whole thing, there are sweet surprises lurking throughout that make this truly unique.
One thing I found interesting was the use of horror items in this horror film. What do I mean, you ask? Well Suzanna is reading a horror novel throughout most of the film, and the characters watch at least 2 horror movies. There's the made up horrors of their movies and books, and there's also fear in their lives, as they deal with the ghost lurking amongst them.
The best thing about this film would definitely be the scenery. This movie's cinematography is so beautiful, from the opening credits to the ending ones.
My takeaway from this movie is about more than the brutal murder of an innocent woman and her unborn child and the, rightfully so, karma her perpetrators receive. My takeaway was also about the villains of this film. Would they have been villains if they weren't victim of a class system that forces them to work in unsafe conditions and long hours with minimal, no criminal, pay? Living in poverty for so long, while you watch only a select few thrive in this life, can break even the strongest of people.
Had this been your average white-washed, Hollywood film- no it would not have been as good. At all. The culture portrayed, the small village, and its villagers are what make this film true to itself and so authentic. There's simple use of prosthetics and fake blood, that make the gory scenes pull you back almost 30 years ago, when horror movies relied much less on CGI. With all of this films charms and quirks, it does suffer some over-acting- which is sometimes unforgivable, because it ruins some of the films serious moments. It's like an Asian, horror soap-opera, full of over-the-top reactions and sometimes really bad editing- except for Suzanna's cackle. That cackle was better than any acting offered in this entire movie. It's way too long for what it's story is trying to convey- with a runtime of over 2 hours. Had they cut a few scenes by a minute or two, it wouldn't have felt like it dragged a little. Overall, I do not feel that this movie is for everyone, but it was one for me, so I say;
starring, Luna Maya, Herjunot Ali, Asri Welas, Ence Bagus, Opie Kumis, Verdi Solaiman, Teuku Rifnu Wikana, Alex Abbad, and more
written and directed by, Anggy Umbara, Rocky Soraya, Bene Dion Rajagukguk, Ferry Lesmana, and Sunil Soraya